The summer heat has finally arrived! If you take a walk around the farm this week, you won’t see many leafy greens remaining. Several plants in the fields have now started flowering and you’ll start to see more of these veggies in your upcoming shares.
Quite a few crops grow well in this weather —tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash and peppers. At the same time, there are some that just don’t like the summer heat, such as lettuce, arugula, bok choi, spinach and radicchio.
We refer to these vegetables as being “heat sensitive” and take care to only plant them in the spring and fall. High heat causes the plants to stress out and begin to bolt. Bolting is when the crop produces a flower stem before it is harvested. They then put most of their energy into making seeds and halt the growth of their leaves almost entirely.
Some of you may be familiar with watching your basil or spinach begin to flower and in your gardens, pinching off the flowers as they begin to form can encourage the plant to keep growing nice, big leaves. When farming, however, any signs of bolting means that it’s time to harvest the crop as quickly as possible while avoiding any plants that have produced a flower stem. The crop is still perfectly fine to eat – it simply means the plants will no longer put any more energy into growing bigger.
The fields are now filled with things like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, onions and carrots. So many things still yet to come! Stay cool everyone!
Until next time,